"Distributed ledger technology is one of the most interesting innovations I have encountered in the last decade. Distributed ledgers allow groups of people to validate, record, and track transactions across a network of decentralised computer systems. Current developments confirm that the technology has potential well beyond Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that revealed the technology.
With the increasing pervasiveness of computers and the Internet, the demand for distributed ledgers has grown. The technology offers very promising prospects for application in a range of sectors; including financial services. Distributed ledgers could be particularly relevant to identity, compliance, contract and registry management...
Mutual Distributed Ledgers (MDLs) have the potential to transform the way people and organisations handle identity, transaction, and debt information. The ability to have a globally available, verifiable, and untamperable source of data provides anyone wishing to provide trusted third party services, i.e. most financial services firms, the ability to do so cheaply and robustly. InterChainZ was a 2015 consortium research project to explore how to deliver this technology robustly, swiftly, and cheaply.
This research aimed to answer the core question “what elements of a trusted third party are displaced by blockchain technology?”, by providing a basic demonstrator of distributed ledgers, including blockchains, and comparing how they might work within selected financial services use cases. The research revolves around an online demonstrator of InterChainZ, Z/Yen’s prototype distributed ledger system based on ChainZy.
The project findings are grouped into a number of learning themes, including Terminology, Identity, Validation Choices, Content Chains and Further Research.
Drawing to the end of the InterChainZ research, we have made a number of observations.
The next stage of research, IntereXchainZ, extended the functionality towards a functioning market place and exchange for data using smartphones.
The InterChainZ research consortium worked with Z/Yen and Long Finance to develop mutual distributed ledgers functionality. The members are: